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Friday, May 20, 2016

DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! Southern Spirits (Ten Speed Press)

SOUTHERN SPIRITS (Ten Speed Press, 2016, 316 pages, ISBN 978-1-60774-867-0, $24.99 USD hardbound) is by Robert F. Moss, a food and drink writer in Charleston, South Carolina. He has written free-lance articles plus books on southern BBQ and dining. Here, he expands on four hundr3d years of drinking in the American south, with archival black and white illustrations and with recipes. While most people will relate to moonshine and mint juleps, southerners also drank lagers, applejack, and peach brandy/bourbon  (precursor to Southern Comfort) and imported beverages such as Madeira, cognac, and rye.
He does a great job in dispelling the "bourbon" myth as being the only drink. The research is fascinating and impeccable. There is a bibliography and an index, with all the 25 drink recipes collated together under the entry "Recipes" as well as alphabetically within the main index itself. These preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: culinary historians; Southern US history buffs; drinkers.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: apple cider sidecar; black walnut orgeat; coca-cola simple syrup; creole contentment; moonshine margarita; ramos gin fizz; rum punch.
The downside to this book: I would have liked more recipes.
The upside to this book: he's a culinary historian, so it is a well-researched package.
Quality/Price Rating: 92.

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